Tag Archives: bladesystem

Helpful Blade Server Links

Here is a list of blade-related websites that may help you find more information about blade servers.  Since vendors tend to move their sites without notice if you find a dead link, please let me know.  If you have other sites that you think are worthy to remember, email me at “kevin AT bladesmadesimple.com”.
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Fixing HP BladeSystem Problems – Easy to Do

I’ll lift up the curtain and tell you I rely on Google Alerts to help me find blade server related topics to write about.  This is the best way for me to catch news, or topics that would otherwise be missed. 

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HP Unveils New Updated Blade Server: BL2x220c G6

bl2x220cg5HP officially announced today an update to their BL2x220c blade server line.  Although the primary purpose for this update was to introduce the Intel Xeon 5500 Series processor to the server line, there are additional significant enhancements as well (shown below in bold:

  • Up to two Quad-Core Intel® Xeon® 5500 sequence processors
  • Up to 48 GB (6 x 8 GB) of memory, supported by (6) slots of PC2-5300 Registered DIMMs, 1066Mhz
  • 1 non-hot plug small form factor SATA or Solid State hard drive
  • Embedded Dual-port NC326i Gigabit Server Adapter
  • One (1) I/O expansion slots via mezzanine card
  • One (1) internal USB 2.0 connector for security key devices and USB drive keys
  • Supported ONLY in c7000 Chassis

For those of you not familiar with the BL2x220 Blade Server, I think it is one of HP’s best kept secret.  BL2x220G6 - OpenThis blade server is an awesome feet of design because it is not just 1 server, it is 2 servers in 1 blade case – in a clam shell design (see below).  This means that in a HP C7000 BladeSystem chassis you could have 32 servers!    That’s 64 CPUs, 256 CORES, 3TB of RAM all in a 10U rack space.  That’s pretty impressive. 

For more details on this new server, I encourage you to visit the QuickSpecs website at http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF05a/3709945-3709945-3328410-241641-3722790-4047584.html

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What is the HP BladeSystem Matrix?

hpmatrix-webHP announced a while ago a new product they call the HP BladeSystem Matrix.  Okay, well, it’s not really a “product” as much as it is a solution.  HP calls the BladeSystem Matrix “a cloud infrastructure in a box” – which is a good way to look at it.  The infrastructure that is “the Matrix” is simply HP’s BladeSystem chassis, loaded with blade servers and attached to an HP storage SAN.  Add to the mix some automation, via templates, and you have the BladeSystem Matrix.  The secret behind this unique solution is the “Matrix Orchestration Environment“, which combines automated provisioning, capacity planning, and disaster recovery, with a self-service portal into one “command center.”  However, this is not a single software, but a combination of HP Insight Dynamics – VSE and Insight Orchestration .

What’s In a BladeSystem Matrix?

There are two options for the HP BladeSystem Matrix bundle – a Starter Kit and an Expansion Kit.  The Starter Kit is designed to include all of the infrastructure necessary to manage up to 16 blade servers, with the option of adding a HP StorageWorks EVA4400 SAN.   The HP BladeSystem Matrix Starter Kit (hardware components) contains:

  • HP BladeSystem c7000 enclosure, single-phase, single-phase with 6 power supplies, 10 fans
  • HP BladeSystem c7000 Onboard Administrator with KVM option, redundant pair
    HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 10Gb Ethernet modules, redundant pair
    NOTE: No transceivers/SFPs included so that you can choose these options – need to add to order.
  • HP Virtual Connect 8Gb 24-Port FC Module for BladeSystem c-Class, redundant pair
    NOTE: Two [2] Fibre Channel SFP+ transceivers included with each module; therefore, 4 total transceivers per redundant pair.
  • BladeSystem Matrix documentation CD
  • BladeSystem Matrix label attached to 10000 series rack door handle

The part number for HP BladeSystem Matrix Starter Kit (hardware components) is 535888-B21. It is important to note, the starter kit does not contain any blade servers or storage.  Those must be ordered separately.

The HP BladeSystem Matrix Starter Kit (software components) provides HP Insight software licenses for 1 enclosure / 16-server with standard 1 year 24×7 Technical Support and Update Service unless 3-, 4-, or 5-year Support Plus 24 Care Pack uplifts are purchased to increase support and update period. These licenses include:

  • Insight Dynamics – VSE suite for ProLiant with Insight Control suite
  • Insight Orchestration software
  • Insight Recovery software
  • Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager software
  • HP Insight Remote Support Advanced (formerly Remote Support Pack)

The part number for HP BladeSystem Matrix Starter Kit (software components) is TB462A.

Once you have the Hardware and Software Starter kits, then you’ll need to purchase the HP Professional Services – for installation; the Central Management Server (CMS) – a BL460 with 2 CPUs, 12GB RAM; additional blade servers and the storage that you need.

The HP BladeSystem Matrix Expansion Kit (HP part #507021-B21 ) is very similar to the Starter Kit:

  • HP BladeSystem c7000 enclosure, single-phase, single-phase with 6 power supplies, 10 fans
  • HP BladeSystem c7000 Onboard Administrator with KVM option, redundant pair
    HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 10Gb Ethernet modules, redundant pair
    NOTE: No transceivers/SFPs included so that you can choose these options – need to add to order.
  • HP Virtual Connect 8Gb 24-Port FC Module for BladeSystem c-Class, redundant pair
    NOTE: Two [2] Fibre Channel SFP+ transceivers included with each module; therefore, 4 total transceivers per redundant pair.
  • BladeSystem Matrix documentation CD
  • BladeSystem Matrix label attached to 10000 series rack door handle

However, it also includes software licenses for:

  • Insight Dynamics – VSE suite for ProLiant with Insight Control suite
  • Insight Orchestration software
  • Insight Recovery software
  • Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager software
  • HP Insight Remote Support Advanced (formerly Remote Support Pack)

Once again, you’ll need to purchase the HP Professional Services – for installation; then your blade servers and the storage that you need.

As you can see, the HP BladeSystem Matrix is not a new product – it is an easy way to order HP BladeSystem products and use HP services and software to easily get your server infrastructure in place.  Let me know your thoughts – feel free to leave comments.  For more on the HP BladeSystem Matrix, visit HP’s web site at http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/blades/components/matrix/main.html

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HP's Well Hidden Secret Blade Server

bl2x220cg5

BL2x220c G5 (2 server "nodes" shown)

HP’s BladeSystem server offering is quite extensive – everything from a 4 CPU Intel blade to an Itanium CPU blade, however their most well hidden, secret blade is their BL2x220c blade server.  Starting at $6,129, this blade server is an awesome feet of design because it is not just 1 server, it is 2 serversin 1 blade case – in a clam shell design (see below).  This means that in a HP C7000 BladeSystem chassis you could have 32 servers!    That’s 64 CPUs, 256 CORES, 2TB of RAM all in a 10U rack space.  That’s pretty impressive.  Let me break it down for you.  Each “node” on a single 2 node BL2x220c G5 server contains:

  • Up to two Quad-Core Intel® Xeon® 5400 sequence processors
  • Up to 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) of memory, supported by (4) slots of PC2-5300 Registered DIMMs, 667 MHz
  • 1 non-hot plug small form factor SATA or Solid State hard drive
  • Embedded Dual-port NC326i Gigabit Server Adapter
  • One (1) I/O expansion slots via mezzanine card
  • One (1) internal USB 2.0 connector for security key devices and USB drive keys

BL2x220

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have noticed that this server is a “G5” version and currently has the older Intel 5400 series processors.  Based on HP’s current blade offering, expect to see HP refresh of this server to a “G6” model that will contain the Intel® Xeon® 5500 series processors.  Once that happens, I expect for more memoryslots to come with it, since the Intel® Xeon® 5500 series processors have 3 memory channels.  I’m guessing 12 memory slots “per node” or 24 memory slots per BL2x220c G6.  Purely speculation on my part, but it would make sense.  

Why do I consider this server to be one of HP’s best hidden secrets?  Simply because with that amount of server density, server processing power and server memory, the BL2x220c could become a perfect virtualization server.   Now if they’d only make a converged network adapter (CNA)…

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